- Japanese: 沖永良部島 (Oki no erabu jima)
According to divine songs such as shima watari nu umui, Okinoerabu was the first of the Ryûkyû Islands, forming out of a floating mass in the sea and then multiplying in some fashion to spread islands out to the north, and then to the south. A number of legends, songs, and the like from Okinawa Island and elsewhere suggest an ancestral or legendary origin on Okinoerabu.
Consisting primarily of flatland atop a raised coral reef, Okinoerabu was historically one of the chief islands for pasturing horses. The "lord of Okinoerabu" is strongly associated with horses in the Omoro sôshi, which indicates that he has "a herd of horses ... at his disposal," and that "this remote lord attaches a golden saddle and rides down to Yowa harbor." The Ryukyu Kingdom as well as various wakô groups sourced their horses from Okinoerabu, among other locations.
Okinoerabu was also one of four places where the Tsukishiro form of the deity Hachiman was historically worshipped.
In the early 15th century, the island was home to the wakô chieftain Guraru Magohachi (aka Goran Magohatsu), who is also mentioned in the omoro.
- Gregory Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii Press (2019), 71.
- Smits, 109.
- Ono Masako, Tomita Chinatsu, Kanna Keiko, Taguchi Megumi, "Shiryô shôkai Kishi Akimasa bunko Satsuyû kikô," Shiryôhenshûshitsu kiyô 31 (2006), 244.
- Plaque at site of Saigô's death, Shiroyama, Kagoshima.